So, it’s C. You might have noticed I’m posting not in my week. This is because last week was spent trying to keep my lungs inside my chest and also trying to figure out what was causing me to cough so much (I did not have a cold, so of course my brain decided I obviously had terrible lung cancer and am doing to die next week). I think I might have damaged my throat screaming obscenities about Donald Trump and that, combined with my increasing sensitivity to dust, caused the cough. And now that I’ve figured it out, I plan to spend the week… basically not talking.
Anyway. Hi! Today, I want to talk to you about literally anything but politics. Problem is, I literally can’t get my brain out of the spiral place it’s in, so finding something to write about has been difficult. That’s probably another reason why I skipped writing last week; I just couldn’t muster the energy to write anything that wouldn’t sound like a depressive liturgy of human suffering. So… this week, I am going to be studiously positive and tell you about things.
There are times that writing is a huge struggle for me. I very much dislike the act of drafting, sitting alone in a room (even if there are other people, you always draft alone) typing out letters that become words that become phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, novels… Thousands of words. Tens of thousands. In my world, SFF, often hundreds of thousands of words. And while I love putting together a good phrase or interacting with my characters, drafting is often a struggle. I have a hard time coming up with the words I want, so I end up having to put down the words that come to mind, which if you know anything about me, you know… is not a good thing. I have an obsessive mind, so not finding the word I want is a very difficult thing for me to ignore. When I force myself to do it for the aforementioned hundreds of thousands of words, it becomes an extremely intrusive compulsion to go back and fix a novel that has completely gone off the rails. A compulsion that gets worse the more I force myself to ignore it and move on (and is only occasionally mollified with a quick re-read of an earlier chapter to remind myself that I’m pretty decent at what I do).
So, for what might be obvious reasons, I go through a lot of periods where I just cannot write. I joke that, for every good week (where I work on all three of my active WIPs), I spend three recovering. It’s a difficult cycle to break because I often do need to forget what I wrote in order to move on. Or, at least, let the “I’ve written this all wrong” feelings die down. But I’ve always looked at it in a positive way. When I do manage to write, all those words are really special to me. And I write a lot (for me) during that week: about 4000 words split between my three WIPs. It does mean my projects move slowly, but eventually, they get to where I want them to be.
And–finally–Liar is just about done. I have reached the final battle, the climactic showdown between Lucky and Odin and its inevitable aftermath. I am no more than 15k words away, and that’s probably an overestimation. And feeling like I’m almost to the point of writing I actually like–editing–has helped me write more quickly. I can’t ignore the feeling that I’ve ruined everything, but at least I know all the threads are coming together and, as soon as I’m done, I can go back to fix everything. Do the thing I’ve wanted to do since halfway through chapter seven.
It’s a great feeling. And I’m holding on to it because, frankly, I am in desperate need of positive feelings.